When the chips were down across America, and in particular college football, ESPN analyst and radio host Paul Finebaum said one person deserves credit for steering SEC into a position to play games this week.

Finebaum shared those thoughts on his regular Monday appearance on The Roundtable, on WJOX-FM in Birmingham.

“I think Greg Sankey is the answer,” Finebaum said of the SEC commissioner. “A lot of people are involved, but he’s the head of the conference, the one you hear from and he is the face. He held everything together during an extremely difficult time, especially when you go back to late July when the wheels were starting to come off, and the country was heading in the wrong direction.”

Finebaum said Sankey offered some leadership.

“He was honest, he was realistic, he didn’t guarantee anything and then I think when he convened everyone, in Birmingham, all the ADs and they talked it through, I think a lot of progress was made there,” Finebaum said. “Some wondered about it at the time.”

Finebaum added that getting people in a room gives way for more honest ideas, than on a Zoom call, which we’re all, “officially sick of.”

The SEC will be the third Power 5 conference to kick off the season when the league opens a conference-only 10-game schedule on Saturday. The ACC and Big 12 have already started, and the Big Ten last week said it would begin in October.